Manchin Registers As An Independent

Sen. Joe Manchin (I-WV) announced this week that he was leaving the Democratic Party and reregistering as an independent. The move came after Manchin’s significant criticism of the Democratic Party and after Sen. Kirsten Sinema (I-AZ) also left the party to become an independent.

Manchin announced that he was becoming an independent just months after stating that he would not run for another term in the Senate.

“From my first day in public service in 1982, I have always focused on doing what’s best for my state and my country, without regard to party or politics. Throughout my days in elected office, I have always been proud of my commitment to common sense, bipartisanship and my desire to bring people together. It’s who I am. It’s who I will always be. I have never seen America through a partisan lens,” he said.

Machin was one of the last prominent Democrats who had a moderate reputation. He served as West Virginia’s governor, which is now one of the most solidly Republican states in the country.

The senator received support from his voting base but lost much of it during Biden’s tenure. Manchin played a key role in the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which many Republicans criticized as not doing enough to combat inflation.

As part of the proposed compromise to pass the Inflation Reduction Act, the Biden administration was due to expand traditional fuel expansion, including oil and natural gas. However, Manchin argued that Biden reneged on these promises.

The senator wrote an op-ed to the Wall Street Journal criticizing Biden and stating that the country needed more traditional fuel production in order to stay economically viable. Manchin argued that Biden was being influenced by the left wing of the Democratic Party.

Manchin had built a reputation of working with other moderate senators, including Sinema. In late 2022 the senator said that the Democratic Party had grown out of touch with many American voters and reregistered as an independent.